After a few years of absence, Mystic Circle is back to work.
Created in 1992 in Germany, the band has tough beginnings. Several hiatus, several restarts, but Graf von Beelzebub (bass/vocals/guitar, ex-Crematory) and Aaarrrgon (drums/guitar, Mord, NG, ex-Zorn) announce Mystic Circle, their eighth album, in 2022 at Atomic Fire Records.
The first thing we notice is that the band’s sound is very unhealthy and dark. Blast and weighing orchestrations reign supreme, welcoming powerful riffs and possessed howlings, like on Belial Is My Name, the first track. The burning rhythmic allows melodic leads to haunt our mind while the majestic ambience crushes us, just like on Seven Headed Dragon which offers a fast-paced tempo and devastating riffs. The song slows down for the heady chorus, but the ambience quickly wears worrying and mystical sonorities, completing the hooking tones, while Hell Demon Rising offers very Old School and dissonant elements. Melodies are extremely hooking, and they also offer accessible more quiet parts into this unfurling wave of raw rage, while Letters From the Devil lets us breath a few moments before flooding us with those worrying elements, creating an interesting contrast with twirling harmonics. Darkness In Flames comes back on more weighing tones, whether it is on this majestic introduction or into riffs with Death and Thrash Metal influences, while The Arrival Of Baphomet unveils mystical and seizing tones which are wonderfully melted with the riffs’ massive firepower. Obviously, melodies are not put aside, just like visceral howlings, which will calm down with the haunting Curse Of The Wolf Demon and its hooking slowness. Majestic elements and voices in the background offer us a moment of respite before the avalanche revives, followed by this oppressive final which drives us to Satanic Mistress, an incisive composition which highlights worrying roots. The contrast between burning rhythmic and the melancholic break followed by this unholy fusion is quite impressive, and it lets place to Death Metal, a cover of the American band Possessed. As an extreme Metal lover myself, I obviously know this song, and I can assure you the band makes it its own while keeping the original energy.
Mystic Circle’s rebirth is an excellent thing. Even if the band was absent for a while, Mystic Circle proves us that their soul is still as enraged as it was in the past and it burns more than ever.